Tag Archives: Kari Krome

Grrrls Take Over

Kim and the Created

Kim and the Created

A tall woman in a black leather bodysuit flails on the sidewalk in the center of Loyola Marymount University. Kim House wails into a mike. About 50 students form a circle around her, spectating and protecting as the lunachick enacts a fit. Her guitarist and drummer lay down a heavy thrash sound that bounces off the brick and stucco buildings. Kim and the Created are the final act of the first-ever Grrrls on Film festival, and they embody just about everything that has been depicted and discussed over the last three days of screenings and panels: noise, representation, damage, diversity, power, support, expression, transgression, disruption, eruption, punk, feminism. Several of my students are there, and I recognize the light in their eyes: the spark of transformation, the recognition of great talent and also the reflection of themselves in this soul who expunges pain then leaps back on stage, ready to sling a bass over her neck and bang out deep, propulsive vibrations.

In terms of attendance, attention, and smooth operation, Grrrls on Film, held March 18-20, exceeded my expectations. People came from all over LA – a rarity for this Westside campus – and mingled with students and faculty, filling or nearly filling the Mayer Theatre. Thoughtful articles in the LA Weekly, i-D, The Argonaut, Grimy Goods, The Loyolan, Bust, and Los Angeles Magazine, and interviews on KPCC, KPFK, and KXLU, helped spread our message and the works of our featured filmmakers, speakers, and performers. All scheduled guests showed up in a timely manner, and we stayed within our budget. As first-time producers, my colleague/coconspirator Sharon A. Mooney and I breathed several sighs of relief.

Evelyn McDonnell and Sharon A. Mooney

Evelyn McDonnell and Sharon A. Mooney

But more importantly, I feel like we succeeded on a profound level, in terms of stimulating important discussions about gender, art, and activism; connecting creators to each other; and impacting the lives of young women at a particularly crucial crossroads in their life. Riot Grrrls reunited. Filmmakers from opposite coasts exchanged notes and numbers. Punks addressed difficult parts of their history that had been suppressed for decades: the misogyny, homophobia, and racism that lashed back against their outsider disruptions. Students tweeted their discoveries and discernments. Tweens made videos, and faculty stepped out of their silos to think deep about what it means to be an oppressed group speaking truth to power.

Karyn Kusmama and Leena Pandharkar at Girl Power panel. Photo by Emma Spiekerman

Karyn Kusama and Leena Pandharkar at Girl Power panel. Photo by Emma Spiekerman

Emotions ran high. The four female filmmakers at the kickassoff Girl Power panel Friday night – Karyn Kusama, Angela Boatwright, Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn, and Leena Pandharkar – spoke frankly about the inequities women face in the industry. “The indie world is an economic ghetto,” stated Kusama, maker of Girlfight, Jennifer’s Body and the new The Invitation. “Rather than creating separate programs for women and minorities, why don’t we just hire them,” asked LMU alum Littlejohn.

The festival’s first screening paired two films about coming of age in Los Angeles: Michael Lucid’s 1996 documentary Dirty Girls and Floria Sigismondi’s 2010 feature film The Runaways. Afterwards both filmmakers and two of the subjects of Lucid’s movie, Amber and Harper, answered audience questions. It was an auspicious start: Film students rubbed elbows with veteran directors, as talk of mentoring and hustling filled the air. “We need all your parts, all the oddities,” said Dirty Girl Harper. “Your uniqueness exists only in you, and without it, the world is missing it.”

Floria Sigismondi and Amber and Hannah of Dirty Girls. Photo by Emma Spiekerman

Floria Sigismondi and Amber and Hannah of Dirty Girls. Photo by Emma Spiekerman

Saturday offered a movie marathon. It started with the future, via the past: the cyberpunk animation of Golden Chain, followed by lost/reclaimed classic Born in Flames. Filmed in 1983, Born in Flames is a startlingly prescient dystopic film whose imagined prospects offer eerie parallels to today — intimations of Sandra Bland, Occupy Wall Street, and 9/11. Director Lizzie Borden depicts the US 10 years after a peaceful socialist revolution, which (surprise surprise) has done little to improve the lives of women. Feel the Bern? “Myself, I think it would be great to have a woman in the White House,” the filmmaker said in the Q&A afterwards.

All makers of the shorts and features shown at GOF answered questions after the screenings of their movies, including Penelope Spheeris and her daughter, Anna Fox. The screening of Spheeris’s groundbreaking 1981 LA punk documentary The Decline of Western Civilization was one of the festival’s most anticipated events, and most controversial. For many people – including myself – when it debuted, Decline immersed us in a punk subculture that provoked and inspired. It has rarely been seen in the decades since, until its release, finally, on DVD and Blu-Ray this past summer. For many people – again, including myself – it has shocked us all over again; the hatred of others that is spewed on screen by white men like Lee Ving of Fear” has not aged well.

Phranc and Lex Vaughn. Photo by Emma Spiekerman

Phranc and Lex Vaughn. Photo by Emma Spiekerman

The seminal punk musician Phranc saw herself in The Decline of Western Civilization for the first time since it had been shot at the Grrrls on Film screening. Sitting next to her daughter, she was deeply disturbed by the film’s depiction of misogyny, homophobia, and racism. She came back that evening to articulate what her frustrations, hopes, and desires had been as a Jewish lesbian navigating through the nascent punk scene. Phranc was on the LAy of the LAnd: We Will Bury You panel with three other powerful figures of the LA underground: Alice Bag and Nicole Panter (both of whom are also in Decline), and Raquel Guttierez. Their discussion was blunt and historic; “without question the best panel discussion on punk rock I’ve ever had the pleasure to see,” posted punk musician and historian David O. Jones on Facebook afterwards.

Phranc talk: “Any time a woman takes the stage, it tamps down misogyny.”

“You were the thing before you did it,” said Panter, writer and former Germs manager, summing up punk, and the festival’s, DIY spirit. “You didn’t wait for anyone’s stamp of approval.”

We Will Bury You panelists Ruben Martinez, Alice Bag, Raquel Guttierez, Phranc, and Nicole Panter

We Will Bury You panelists Ruben Martinez, Alice Bag, Raquel Guttierez, Phranc, and Nicole Panter

Between Decline and We Will Bury You, two vintage, black-and-white shorts by Lucretia Tye Jasmine probed experiences of sexual assault, police violence, slut-shaming, body image, and bulimia – before they were today’s hot-button topics. When such prominent actors as Lex Vaughn, Nao Bustamante, and Jennifer Locke hammed up the unfinished script of Jill Reiter’s In Search of Margo-go, indulging in silly costumes and ‘80s nostalgia, it provided a welcome, hilarious release from a weekend of tough confessions and hard exegeses.

The last films of the festival aired Sunday at noon. Vega Darling’s Lost Grrrls and Abby Moser’s Grrrl Love and Revolution: Riot Grrrl NYC both documented the Riot Grrrl movement that helped swing punk back from an environment of violent exclusion to one of empowered inclusion. The spirit that had been celebrated in movies all weekend came alive at the Grrrls on Stage festival afterward, featuring spoken word by Kari Krome and Sarah Maclay, music by Peach Kelli Pop, Colleen Green, and Kim and the Created, KXLU DJS, host Allison Wolfe, and lots of cool booths. LMU professor Alicia Partnoy spoke and sang, in English and Spanish, about her experience being imprisoned by the Argentine dictatorship in the 1970s, only able to touch her daughter through glass for three years. All-girl roller derby teams skated around Alumni Mall. Kids made fanzines at a table staffed by the William H. Hannon Library. At a table housing three different rock camps for girls, anyone could make their own short music video, with costumes and confetti. The bands crushed it.

Alicia Partnoy

Alicia Partnoy

I figured that the only thing I was going to feel all weekend was stress and then, hopefully, relief. Instead I too was moved, as I realized I was accomplishing my own mission as a teacher. Thirty years ago I was that young woman writhing in the center of a college campus, only I wasn’t performing. My undergraduate years were one of the most difficult periods of my life, as I struggled to find myself far from a home that was disintegrating, in a class milieu in which I did not fit, stumbling through relationships that made me how little feminism had accomplished in terms of the dynamics of love. At a time that I had been told/sold would be one of the best of my life, when I was supposed to be coming into my own as an adult, I was lost. Every weekend I fled the confines of my Ivy League school and found myself in the local clubs, where bands played loud music and sometimes, sometimes, there were women on stage.

Grrrls on Film was not for everyone — although we were funded and organized by a collaboration between multiple colleges and schools; my colleague Ruben Martinez, moderating the We Will Bury You panel, pointed out that interdisciplinarity is a eight-syllable word. Grrrls on Film was for the student with a disability who was in my office in tears two weeks ago, wrestling with her identity and sexual orientation. It was for the other young woman the following week, who bravely spoke in class about her experience having been sexually assaulted. It was for me, three decades ago, stumbling stoned through my campus, bandanas tied around my wrists to hide fresh scars, looking for connection. “Today I was proud to be a Lion and a woman,” Tweeted one student. In a paper for a film-studies class, another Lion wrote:

“Between both the panel and the screening, I found myself re-thinking about my choice in career path, but not in a bad way. When I told my family and friends that I was going to go into film and attend film school at LMU, some of them thought I was insane. “The industry is dog-eat-dog”, “There’s not a lot of girls on set”, “You want to write?” were a lot of the responses I got. But after listening to these women on the panel speak, hearing what they had to say, if anything, made my passion and fire for working in this industry burn brighter. I want to be able to do my damn best work and put myself out there and TRY in the world of film and TV. I want to prove everyone wrong. I want to be like the women on the panel who campaigned and raised money for their films, who took on a mostly female crew, who fought tooth and nail to get their projects made and who have a career in something they are passionate about and love doing. They have inspired me to work harder and to accomplish my lifelong goals of being in the industry as a writer and an actor. They had discussed how most of them are getting into producing now so that they can have more control over their projects. Producing was something I had never once thought of doing, but after listening to them talk about it and their reasoning behind why they are doing it, I have become incredibly willing to learn more about producing and to have more control over the stories I write and the projects I make. The Grrls On Film events I attended both humbled me and pushed me as a female in film. “

Kim House and fans

Kim House and fans

I suppose the greatest compliment a new undertaking can receive is the question, are you going to do this every year? Even before the weekend started, Sharon and I kept hearing that. And no, we will not produce a three-day festival again next year – sorry, we have lives to lead, our own art to make. But we’ll do something, I think. What’s important is not necessarily what we do, but what all those people who came to Grrrls on Film do next. This, I hope, was just the beginning.

 

 

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#GrrrlsonFiLMU Lineup Announced

Kim and the Created

Kim and the Created

I’m extremely pleased to announce the lineup of the Grrrls on Film festival at Loyola Marymount University March 18-20. We have an incredible array of films by, for, and about women. All participating filmmakers will be present, plus a few. There will also be a concert outdoors featuring Kim and the Created, Colleen Green, Peach Kelli Pop, KXLU DJs, spoken word, and more. The press release and complete schedule are below. We will be presenting more details during the upcoming weeks. And, it’s all free!

Loyola Marymount University presents GRRRLS ON FILM, a free festival featuring films and music from groundbreaking female artists, on the LMU campus March 18, 19 and 20, 2016

Confirmed participants include Penelope Spheeris (The Decline of Western Civilization, Wayne’s World), Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways), Karyn Kusama (Girlfight), Alice Bag (the Bags), Kim and the Created, Nao Bustamante, Phranc, Allison Wolfe (Bratmobile), Colleen Green, Kari Krome, Peach Kelli Pop, Nicole Panter, Raquel Gutiérrez, Jill Reiter (In Search of Margo-go) and Lizzie Borden (Born in Flames)

For Immediate Release — Grrrls on Film is a weekend-long celebration of the feminist acts of making sound and vision. The festival and forum at Loyola Marymount University gathers together pioneers in movies, music, art and activism to address what has become one of the hot-button social justice issues of our time: lack of diverse representation and expression in arts and entertainment. The event borrows its name from the Riot Grrrl movement of the 1990s, which fused the Do-It-Yourself credo of punk with Third Wave Feminism’s call for self-determination. Continue reading

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Blackstar Shine On

I am actually a bit overwhelmed by the outpouring of tributes to David Bowie. I was listening to Blackstar on Sunday, loving it, intrigued by it, critiquing it. I listened to it with a whole different heartset yesterday. As I told my students, Bowie managed to merge the avant-garde and pop like no one else. Yes, I loved his music. But what’s most intriguing to me is how influential he was on the women whose music subsequently has captivated me. For Alice Bag, Cherie Currie, Kari Krome, etc., he was THE inspiration to rebel rebel, to turn and face the strange changes.

On Sunday, as this pale style icon kept singing to me in my car, “I’m a black star, I’m not a pop star,” I pondered the Thin White Duke’s relationship to appropriation: his obsession with black music, feminine manners, and gay culture. Is it theft, as I think many of my less tolerant students would think? Or is it, as Eric Lott coined it, love and theft? I wondered what Greg Tate would think. And thanks to this amazing, smart, loving remembrance, I now know.

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#Runaways Roundup

There have been many interesting and rich contributions to the recent discussion of rape and rock’n’roll. I am sure I haven’t even begun to see them all. Following are several I have seen that are worth sharing. Collectively, they reveal how sexual trauma affects so many people. Jackie Fox continues to speak out and also post stories on her Facebook page.

Lina Lecaro writes very openly and honestly about her own relationship to the late Kim Fowley in this LA Weekly piece. “Those of us who knew and liked Kim Fowley now question our judgment of people and what they are capable of. Surely, all former friends of rapists and murderers have dealt with this feeling. Do we deserve blame? Do the bystanders there that night deserve it? Or should the vitriol simply be saved for the rapist? Jackie Fuchs herself has just said unequivocally the latter.”

Lecaro’s defense of herself is brave. In another LA Weekly story, Sloppy Jane singer Haley Dahl might have committed media suicide. Long before Fox’s story broke, Dahl’s band dedicated their album to Kim Fowley. She stands by her man in a statement that reveals the ways in which the controversial figure actually empowered some:

“I did not know Kim Fowley in the 70s. The Kim I knew and adored was, while still being a crass and charismatic powerhouse, an older and more nurturing person than he once was. To this day he is the one and only person I have worked with who never faltered in treating me with respect and as an equal. Caring for Kim and wanting to defend him is hardwired into my system, and without him being alive to give his side I’m finding it physically impossible to sever my allegiance towards him. I would never be one to stand against a victim, either, but when you were close with the accused and miss their words, it gets more complicated. I have heard 8 versions of the same night. A lot of people want my opinion. I am eternally grateful for the Kim I knew and everything he gave me. He is my roots, and because of that, anything I become he is a part of. I am emotionally incapable of speculating further. I hope everyone involved in this mess finds peace in whatever way they need to so everyone can heal from this point forward.”

This is a side of Fowley that the writer of the original Huffington Post article did not represent.

Many, many writers — male and female — have written about how Fox’s story is sadly all too common. NPR writer (and my longtime collaborator and friend) Ann Powers wrote a historic overview of rock’s Lolita syndrome that will make you want to burn your record collection. Boston rocker Robin Lane wrote about her own story, and the organization she formed to help women write songs about their abuse, in this Facebook post:

In response to The Lost Girls…with help from Carla Black.

The silence that Jackie Fox must have lived with over the years is screaming out now. But when you are 14,15, 16, how in the hell would you know what to do in a situation like that? At that age, teenagers are embarrassed about being alive.

The weird, eccentric Kim Fowley once stood at my mother’s front door and wanted me to go with him to who knows where. I didn’t – not because I was smart but because he gave me the creeps. He always did.

But I wasn’t immune to sexual assault. Right around that time, my friend and I were raped at the point of a gun with a silencer on it. I tried to pushed it out of my mind as if it never happened.

When my drummer, Tim Jackson, was filming the documentary about my life, (“When Things Go Wrong: Robin Lane’s Story”), he interviewed the friend I was with. She didn’t remember anything about it. But for years the trauma ate away at me. I didn’t talk about the rape and if I did, I made a joke out of it. No one knew about that or other dark things that happened within my family.

Women never spoke up about anything back then. The shame was so deep that we didn’t have a name for it. It stayed tucked away in a “safe” place because women so often are not believed. But it’s always there, struggling to get out.

In 2001 I founded an organization called Songbird Sings songbirdsings.org to facilitate workshops where women who have survived rape, trauma, trafficking and domestic violence could finally break the silence they hide behind. They take the pain and put their experiences into powerful song. Finally, they are able to tell their universal truth – that had previously been silenced by our culture.

Thanks to Jackie Fox, perhaps more and more women will be inspired to speak out. Too many victims take on the shame when it was never their fault.

Songwriting saved me. Music lets the light shine into the festering dark place when it’s not released. Now I hope it can save a lot of other women and girls that need to tell their stories, too.”

Babes in Toyland bassist Maureen Herman also penned a long, compelling article for BoingBoing, which makes several strong points, but which I will not link to since it does not heed Jackie’s call to not blame the bystanders for the crime committed.

Sean Lewis of The Stranger savaged Fowley but defended Fuchs and myself.

Ruben Martinez, a longtime LA musician and journalist, and my colleague at Loyola Marymount University, compared the HP story to coverage of violence in Central and South America in this Facebook post:

Some thoughts on the Jackie Fox story that’s shaken the rock world, which has long been a place of testerone and homophobia, that is, of rape culture and repressed homosexuality (the latter offered an intriguing corrective by Todd Haynes in Velvet Goldmine). The rock world: stand-in for patriarchy itself. And that world has now been rocked by an authoritative documentation of a rape committed by one of its most infamous figures, the recently deceased Kim Fowley. The story, written by Jason Cherkis for the Huffington Post, follows direct testimony by Jackie Fox of the Runaways, supported by corraborating witnesses, of Fowley raping her at a time when he was promoting the band as rock “jailbait” in the mid-1970s. The timing of the article appears to be driven mostly by Fox’s ability to finally go public with the hidden trauma of her teen years – a silence that was enforced or abetted not just by the Svengali-like Fowley but also, sadly but understandably, many of Fox’s own bandmates. (Among the exceptions was Cherie Currie, who had previously tried to tell the story publicly.) Here’s the thing. If you read the story, please do yourself a favor and read Evelyn McDonnell’s response. She is one of rock’s pioneering woman critics and narrators. In the social media swarm since the story’s publication, some, including writer Cherkis and Kevin Roderick at L.A. Observed, have characterized Evelyn’s statement as “defensive.” That’s a twisted read. Cherkis has even said that Evelyn “apologizes” for Fowley. That would be laughable if the allegation didn’t so closely resemble a testerone-fueled journalist riding a high horse of sexual morality on behalf of all women. The HuffPo article inexplicably erases Evelyn’s name, even as it cites her definitive biography of the band, which, it is crucial to say, discusses the rape incident at length without naming Jackie, because she wasn’t ready to go public back then. Roderick ventured that Evelyn’s “defensive” tone was due to being “scooped” by Cherkis. More testerone talk, old-school journo style. I suppose all is fair in sex and scoopage: Evelyn says that Cherkis lied when he contacted her about the story he was working on to coax some contacts out of her. And finally, about the article itself: I am convinced that had it been written by a woman it would have had a different presentation, particularly regarding its graphic nature. This isn’t about censorship – it’s about the idea that certain texts “re-victimize” the victims as writers “edit” them according to their own psychodynamics which, of course, are sculpted by all kinds of social powers. There is much discussion about this in Mexico and Central America today as writers and artists grapple with the power of representation in the context of extreme violence. This way of thinking asks all of us to check our power – our way of editing reality. Bottom line: read Evelyn McDonnell’s dignified response, which includes several “teachable moments” in journalistic ethics, Loyola Marymount University professor that she is. I’m proud to call her my colleague and friend.

Rock historian Elijah Wald said this on Facebook:

Pop music, and Los Angeles pop in particular, has a long and weird history of predatory male producers both celebrating and abusing talented women. It is not news that Phil Spector and Kim Fowley were/are twisted, predatory psychopaths. Some of the women associated with these men were so damaged by the experience that they have never recovered, or in Spector’s case, were murdered. Other women managed to break away from their early Svengalis and forged powerful and empowering careers, inspiring generations of girls and women to pick up instruments and microphones and play the music they loved.

This week, an important article appeared that details Fowley’s rape of one of the Runaways, Jackie Fuchs. It is important because it highlights how casually abusive men on the rock scene were (and often are) to women–both fans and performers–and the way rock, rap, country and other genres continue to celebrate a kind of hyper-macho attitude that can easily tilt over into physical abuse and rape, as well as the extent to which performers, fans, and critics have often acted as apologists for the abusers.

BUT, rather than turning into a long-overdue discussion of this issue and a moment to call out the abusive men and celebrate the talented women, all over social media this has been turning into a very ugly attack on Joan Jett (for saying she did not see or know about the rape, though Jackie says she was in the room, at the party).

To put the ugliness of this attack in context, think of all the stories in recent years about “date rape,” in which athletes have drugged and raped young women at parties. In virtually every story, there were other women present at those parties. Has anyone, ever, suggested that they should be considered complicit, much less singled them out specifically as enablers?

As far as I can tell, Jett is being singled out for one reason, and one reason only: because she is a strong, powerful, famous woman. On a scene full of abusive men, including dozens of rock stars who remain household names despite stories of the wretched things they did to the women around them, to use this story as a way to tear down one of the very few pioneering female rock ‘n’ roll role models is despicable.

Ronnie Spector is not a villain because she failed to attack Phil, Tina Turner was not complicit because she stuck with Ike as he abused her and the Ikettes. The rapists, murderers, and abusers in these stories are men, and if we want to accuse other people of enabling and making excuses for those men, there are plenty of other men who were there, who got rich off the Ronettes and Tina and the Runaways, and who wrote stories suggesting that the Svengalis were geniuses.

Despite that long history of sexism and abuse, a few women managed to break through, to forge their own careers, to prove that a strong woman could triumph in the world of rock ‘n’ roll. Joan Jett is one of the most prominent, strong, and outspoken, and she has inspired thousands of other young women to pick up guitars and rock out. I don’t know where she was that particular night, or what she saw, or what drugs she may have been on, or how she thinks about her own path through Fowley’s tricks and snares. But I do know that in the big story of sexism in the world of rock, she is one of the heroes, not one of the villains.

Fowley deserves all the venom he is getting right now. Jackie Fuchs deserves all the support. All rape victims, everywhere, deserve the support. All abusers, everywhere, deserve the venom… but, damn it, I will save a little venom for anyone who uses stories of male abuse as an excuse to look around, find the one strong woman on the scene, and try to tear her down and drag her through the mud.

And the unnamed blogger at Pure And Simple wrote a deep and personal post that offers a possible explanation for the very different takes on one long-ago, drug-filled, sordid evening. He is not a journalist, or a musician, just a fan of a woman whose music changed his life, now looking for answers and healing.

(Please refer to my earlier posts for the original story, my response, and the responses of various members of the Runaways, and others.)

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Kari Krome on Kim Fowley

Original Runaways lyricist Kari Krome has released her own statement about the Huffington Post story. I admire and respect Kari greatly. She was an immense help with Queens of Noise, riding around LA with me, showing me the Runaways’ old haunts. She told me then, as I wrote in the book, that Kim was a predator. She did not tell me that he had sexually assaulted her, as she says in the Huffington Post. Below is her statement.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Los Angeles July 11, 2015

RUNAWAYS’ CO-FOUNDER AND SONG WRITER, KARI KROME, ON LIFE DURING AND AFTER PRODUCER/PREDATOR, THE LATE KIM FOWLEY

Krome Issues Statement Following Article in Huffington Post About Jackie Fuchs’ Breaking 40 Year Silence of Fowley’s Sexual Misconduct
In response to the recent media frenzy in regards to the Huffington Post article by Jason Cherkis entitled The Lost Girls, Kari Krome has been contacted by an array of people with an overwhelming amount of questions and comments. Runaways’ bassist Jackie Fuchs and Krome came forward to break the 40 year silence of Fuchs’ rape and Krome’s molestation at the hands of their Producer/Manager, Kim Fowley. She is now ready to answer any questions that have been stirred by the article.

Krome wants to take this opportunity to stand by her statements and her solidarity and support for Jackie Fuchs. For as much pain caused by Fowley, coming forward with the truth has also been freeing for Krome. She realizes that the damage of Fowley’s attempts to control her by degradation, which chipped away at her self-esteem, has been lifted. Her epiphanies and her ‘post-Fowley confidence’ motivated her to make public the work she has held back as Fowley destroyed most of her trust and confidence in her work with clichés such as, “You will be nothing without me.” “I recognized that until speaking with Cherkis, I had not yet even cried about what happened,” Krome said, “nor was I aware of just how much she had been effected by Fowley.

She walked away from her songwriting career and work with The Runaways as a result of Fowley’s abuse. Another of Fowley’s manipulations was taking credit for Krome’s brainchild, the formation of an all girl band, and not attributing her for songs she penned as he claimed them for himself.

Krome never stopped creating and has amassed a body of work of poetry, lyrics, art, photography and recordings. The working title for her memoirs and EP is Kari Krome is Teenage Frankenstein, also derived from her past when at 15 she survived an accident that necessitated her face and jaw be bolted back together. Krome who has been journaling since she was 10 years old wrote an account of this harrowing experience entitled All My Teeth, which Jason Cherkis labels as both “heartbreaking and funny.” He also called her work “genius.”

Kari Krome wants to thank Jackie Fuchs for her strength and trust in her and Jason Cherkis for his compassion and integrity as a reporter. Krome has said despite some people’s outrage over the story, she is grateful for the love and support sent to her and Fuchs and is already experiencing healing and looking forward to a new tomorrow.
Contact: threemonkeystalent@gmail.com

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Kari Krome Krush

Ev and KariKari Krome is one of my heroes. She wasn’t even Sweet Sixteen when she began hanging out in the glam haunts of Hollywood, hitchiking from the “Pit” (Peter Plagens’ term) of central LA to become one of the stylish habitues of Rodney’s English Disco. Three decades later, she’s writing songs and making music again — and speaking to the freshwomen in my Revolution Girl Style class. The original Runaways lyricist was kind enough to hang out and join me at my English Department symposium presentation of Queens of Noise, in which she’s quoted quite a bit. It was an epic night. One astute student compared Krome’s voice to Scout Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird. Thanks to Chris Green for capturing it in pixels.

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The Runaways’ LA

The old Sugar Shack

All that’s left of the Sugar Shack is the writing on the wall. A pizzeria now stands in the strip mall where, during the mid 1970s, the infamous all-ages club drew nubile nymphets from the Valley and Hollywood. The erstwhile lip-gloss mecca is on the other side of Laurel Canyon from the Sunset Strip, in a cute little gabled complex that also houses an old-fashioned photo service and a restaurant named Classique Raphy’s. It’s kind of hard to believe that, after the shuttering of the even more infamous Rodney’s English Disco, this suburban outpost became ground zero for the fertile, decadent LA glam scene — this picturesque commercial corner was jailbait central. It was here that Joan Jett and Kim Fowley found a blond bombshell singer, Cherie Currie, for the all-girl band they were forming, the Runaways. The only traces of that past, along with other graffiti Magic Markered on the white walls of Joe Peep’s Pizza, are tags celebrating: “Sugar Shack.” “Hollywood.” “1776 Biecentennial. 1976 Biesexual (sic).” Continue reading

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